Instafreebie Samples

Today, my Gentle Readers, I want to tell you about a new promo going on. I’m offering up the first few chapters of my novel, “Beginnings“, and the first chapter of my novella, “The Haunting of House 1273“.  Both of these promos through Instafreebie come with no strings attached like some that require you to join the mailing list. I would love it if you did join my publishing house’s mailing list when you did. Then you can receive all the updates on what we are getting up to over there at Cloaked Press. We send out a little story and give away Amazon Giftcards every month. More prizes will be forthcoming as we ramp up to publish our first short story collection this fall. I hope you will take a moment to check it out. 

Meet The Author Monday – Bracha Goetz

Today my Gentle Readers, we have Bracha Goetz, a children’s picture book author. In our usual style here we will put my questions/comments in BLUE, with Bracha’s responses in GREEN.

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Thanks for stopping by today, Bracha. I must say you are my first children’s book author. It’s not a genre I normally read myself, but as my daughter grows up I am sure I will have to become familiar with the genre so I have something to read to her. What brought you into the literary world?
I loved picture books as a child – and they are still my favorite books to read!

Picture books, huh. Well, I think you covered my usual next question of what genre excites you the most.
Picture books – the less words, the better! 🙂

So, what made you want to cross the line from reading to publishing your own?
When I won the Junior McCalls’ contest for McCall’s Magazine as a 12-year-old, and my poem appeared in the magazine, I understood that people all over could hopefully benefit from my writing.

Wow, winning awards and published at 12 years old? Impressive. Do you still write a lot of poetry or do you dabble in other genres now?
I write articles for magazines or for websites online on important issues when I feel “somebody’s got to do it” but I much prefer to write picture books.

So, we’ve established that picture books are your bread and butter. Tell us a little about your work in that arena.
I’m the author of 33 picture books that help children’s souls shine, with a whole bunch more under contract. I love making deep spiritual concepts clear to children in a delightfully simple way.

For years, I only had books for Jewish children accepted for publication, but now my books for the general public are just beginning to get published too.

33 picture books published? That’s quite the pedigree. It’s wonderful that you tackle such a potentially hot topic such as spirituality for an audience so young. When you aren’t trying to enliven children’s lives with your work, how do you spend your time?
I’m the mother of six children who are all now parents, and my husband and I are enjoying our many grandchildren. I coordinate a Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Baltimore, Maryland, and I love practicing yoga every wonderful day.

I’m not your typical Harvard grad ’cause chapter books are a bit much for me. I like expressing big ideas in little words.

Sounds like you keep a full plate, congratulations on your growing family and I hope you continue to bring light to children’s lives. If anyone would like to find more information on Bracha’s body of work, and connect with her, you can do so at the links below.

Website
Facebook Page
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can get more information by Clicking Here.

Meet The Author Monday – Melissa Carrigee

Today my Gentle Readers, we have Melissa Carrigee, an editor and creative director for a small publishing company, who has her own debut book coming out this year. In our usual style here we will put my questions/comments in BLUE, with Melissa’s responses in GREEN.

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Melissa, thank you for stopping by to chat with us today. Let’s get the ball rolling with an easy one. How did you get your start as a reader?
I started off as an avid reader when I was young. The teenage years I was too busy with boys to be bothered with books. In my twenties I picked up Glory Lane by Alan Dean Foster and that was it. I knew my passion was books and reading.

Sounds like one I will have to check out when I get some free time. What genre, or genres, do you enjoy the most?
I love horror and thrillers but I read anything. I love children’s stories and have a huge collection.

Variety is the spice of life they say. What brought you to the other side of the page? From reading the stories of others to writing your own?
I think when I read Glory Lane I started becoming a writer. I had always written when I was young, poems and short stories as a way to deal with my crazy emotions but after I read Glory Lane I started putting all the components together and outlining bigger stories. That is when I became a writer.

Do have plans to stick with the genre your debut is in? Or do you have plans to expand your repertoire?
No. I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into any one genre.

Varied reading and writing tastes, how exciting. I hope you will keep us informed of new releases as they become available. How did you get your start in the literary world?
I worked as a literary agent for almost two years trying to expand my knowledge of the business. I got to know a lot of people in the business. I started to attend conferences. I was then offered a job at an upcoming new, independent publisher over their children’s book line. I accepted that job and now I am involved in all aspects of getting a book published. Some people might think it would make it easier for me as a writer but it actually has made it tougher.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I work as the editor and creative director of a small publisher. I have one boy in the Air Force and another in junior high school. I also have a bulldog who keeps me busy.

Very exciting. I have a son in junior high as well. Busy time transitioning from elementary to a more grown up regimen of homework and studying. You had something else about your debut to tell us, correct?
My book is out for pre-sale right now but won’t be officially released until August 2017.

I wrote I Dream of Dragons when I was in college getting a graphic design degree. It was for an illustration class. I remember hating the illustrating part but I absolutely loved writing the story and the outcome. I wrote the story for my son, who is now in the Air Force.

Please thank your son for his service. And thank you again for stopping by to talk with me today. Keep us posted on your upcoming work. If anyone would like to find out more about Melissa’s book and even pre-order it, you can find her at the below links.

Website

Facebook Page

GoodReads

Pinterest

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can get more information by Clicking Here.

Meet The Author Monday – Angel M.B. Chadwick

This week on Meet The Author Monday, we have Angel M.B. Chadwick, a crime writer with two books currently on Amazon. I will pose my questions in BLUE while Angel’s responses will be in GREEN.

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Thank you for stopping by today, Angel. Let’s dive into how you got started in the literary world.
I started reading when I was four. I loved to absorb words and worlds which is still true today.

There is nothing like getting lost in world created in a book. What genre do you enjoy the most?
I love most genres, but mysteries are what I love the most.

Somewhere along the line you decided to cross over into writing your own worlds to get absorbed in. Tell us about that moment.
My seventh grade English teacher encouraged me to keep writing when she saw my potential during an English assignment when I wrote a short story.

That was a fortuitous moment. You had a great teacher. Do you concentrate on one genre or several?
No, I always mix several genres. I love lots of variety and diversity in my works, without it I get bored very quickly and very easily that also included in the books I read.

Nothing wrong with a little variety in the written word. How did you get started being a published author?
I’ve been an author/writer for 26 years. I was trad published in my teens and twenties. I was offered a publishing contract when I was fifteen years old by a major publisher and turned it down. I’ve always been indie/self-published and I think that’s why I never got along with the traditionally published world. One rejection if you can call it that by a publisher was “You have a unique insight into mankind.” But unfortunately they weren’t able to market that. So I took it as a compliment and decided to market my “Unique insight into mankind” for myself as an indie.

Good for you. Sometimes I don’t think the traditional publishing houses have any idea how silly it is to put all your eggs on one big name author. There are so many stories in the world to be told. When not writing, what do you enjoy? Do you have any family?
I don’t have any hobbies. I do ghostwriting and editing services, come up with business ideas for disabled/needy families. I have a ten year old son.

Sounds like you keep yourself busy. I know my son keeps me on my toes. Thank you again for stopping by. If anyone would like to check out Angel’s work, you can do so through the following links.

Facebook Page
GoodReads Author Page
GoodReads Author Blog
Amazon Author Page

AMBChadwickBook

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can find the submission form HERE.

Book Review – The Sand Dweller by Molly Neely

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The Sand Dweller
Molly Neely
5 Stars

This book, my Gentle Readers, is a fantastic journey of one man’s quest to overcome his birthright and find redemption.

Molly weaves classic Christian And Egyptian figures into a tale stretching from thousands of years BC, to present day.

Lucifer’s top general in Hell, Azazeal, has a desire to possess the fallen first female, Lilith.  He proposes a bet, a winner take all battle between a single offspring from each of them. With Lucifer’s blessing they begin.

What follows is a spiritual journey that challenges the concept of “nurture vs. nature”, begging the question “Can one overcome their birthright?” Malachi bin Sinai, son of Azazeal, would like to know. His path weaves from ancient Egypt, past the crucifixion, a stint as a Roman gladiator, to end in a brutal battle with his nemesis, Ra.

I couldn’t put this one down and I doubt you will be able to either.

‘The Sand Dweller’ on Amazon

Molly Neely on Facebook

Molly Neely on Twitter @mollyneely

Meet The Author Monday – Briana Michaels

This week’s featured author is Briana Michaels, author of the Paranormal Romance series, “Sins of the Sidhe”. Per our usual routine here, we will put her responses in GREEN while I will be BLUE.

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Briana, thank you for stopping by to visit with us today. Paranormal Romance isn’t necessarily something I read often, but it looks to be a thriving genre. Let’s begin with what brought you to the literary world?
I read a lot as a child, but when I went to college there was no time for reading something that wasn’t on a syllabus, so I sort of gave up on books for fun. Then, when Harry Potter came out, I gave it a try and couldn’t put it down. It sparked a new reading frenzy in me and I read anything and everything after that. So thanks, J.K. Rowling, for bringing back my passion for reading. 

I think we all can thank her for bringing in a whole generation of readers. I know my kid loves the books. So we have fantasy covered, but what genre really excites you?
It’s a toss between Paranormal Romance and Historical Romance. I love the darkness that is captured in paranormal reads. Give me danger, big fangs, big swords, and big… well… *ahem* you know, plots and stuff. It’s my true escape from reality.

I love historicals because when it’s done right, you can almost believe it really happened that way. Yes, Jamie Fraser is real. Right? RIGHT?
No matter what I read, it’s all about the romance for me. I can read about falling down the rabbit hole, casting a spell, meeting Benedict Arnold, or having dinner with Sir William Wallace, but there better be some steaminess in there somewhere. 

Romance is certainly not dead for you then. So from reading everything you could get your hands on, you went to writing your own. What prompted that shift?
There must have been a story brewing in me for quite a while although I had no intentions of ever becoming a writer. I love to be in everyone else’s worlds, and that was always good enough for me. 
At the time I was a mom, a preschool art teacher, and a wife. That kept me running all day and night. I’d gone from having a dream job and owning my own business, to being a wife and mother who stayed home (also a dream job), to getting out and teaching art classes with a friend of mine, which was a ton of fun… but something was missing for me. I didn’t know what it was, but something was out of whack. 
One night, on my way home from having dinner with my husband, I looked at him and said, “I’m going to write a book. I have so much in me that needs to get out.” I sat down the next morning in front of my laptop and started typing. Two weeks later, my first novel was complete. And now writing has become my new dream job. 

Two weeks huh? That is an impressive turnaround. I think I know what genre you settled into, but let’s hear you talk about it.
I’m all about the Paranormal Romance. I can’t imagine writing anything else. I love the dark side, it’s home to me. Throw in some danger, steamy scenes, and a kilt, and I’m a very happy woman.

A kilt huh? Well, so two weeks to write the first book, but how did it go from your laptop to the shelves of Amazon?
I’m self-published. As an Indie, it’s hard to get your name out there, to get people to notice you. You just sort of sprouted from the ground and you’re not in the sunshine yet like the big guys. But that’s okay. It all takes time: writing, editing, marketing, overall success. 
Writing my first book was the easy part. Hitting that publish button was terrifying. Getting that first bad review was nauseating. But then it just sort of smooths out. You get into a groove. Your skin gets a little thicker. You start to learn the dos and don’ts. You finally come to a point where you know what your goals are – and they are all within reach.
The more I write, the hotter I burn. The hotter I burn, the more ideas I have. As ideas grow, so does your talent. It’s a beautiful thing, really – the evolution of a writer.
Once someone in the publishing biz asked me, “How many books are in your series?” I replied, “I’m on my fifth one now.” She cooly said, “That’s a large series for someone who’s never even written a stand-alone book before.” My reply? “Well, I’ve just gotten started. I have six more ready to go after I’m finished writing the one I’m on now.”
By the way, this was a totally friendly, wonderful phone call. I didn’t take offense to what she was saying. She hadn’t meant it as an insult, I think I’d just surprised her. I knew jumping into a huge series might be a risky adventure and I didn’t care. I wanted it. Wanted it bad, baby. Very little in this world scares me more than regret. I knew I wanted to write a series and that’s just what I did. I went with my gut and couldn’t be happier with my decision.
The conversation with that lovely agent sealed my fate in so many ways and I am eternally grateful for that phone call. She was awesome, helpful, and memorable. 
Lesson learned: You do you.

Definitely sound advice for anyone considering putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys. So outside of writing steamy novels, what else drives your life?
Writing is an obsession. It’s hard to walk away from it, even to take a shower. However, when life calls, I have to answer, which means prying my boney fingers off the keyboard and joining civilization.
My husband and I love to garden, make a lot of things (like soap, wine, art), and we live on the side of a mountain that requires attention and hard work. If I’m not blissfully banging away on the keyboard, then I’m baking cakes, entertaining friends, chopping wood, plucking weeds, feeding chickens, canning food, sipping wine, catching crayfish, running kids to sports and dance, or doing laundry. Not necessarily in that order.

Busy woman. I hope you don’t leave your readers too long on that fifth book. Now, you have a funny story to share, so let’s hear it.
A book club had just read SHATTER (book 1 in my Sins of the Sidhe series) and invited me as their guest author to speak about the book. Walking into the kitchen and making introductions here’s how the convo went with one of the readers:

Her: “Oh, you’re the writer?” Disappointment was evident. 

Me: “Yup. I’m your girl.” *displays cheesy smile*

Her: “I just thought you’d look different.”

Me: “Well my picture is on the back of your book.”

Her: “I know, I just thought it wasn’t right.”
I still have no idea how to respond to that, but it makes me laugh every time I think about it. Should I have had horns? *Hmmm, makes mental note for next book club invite.*

Who knows what she was hoping for. Thank you again for stopping by Briana and I wish you success with all those books in your series. Maybe I will have to step outside my genre and pick up that first one myself.

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If anyone wants to find out more about Briana or keep tabs on her work, You can find her at the links below.
Website
Facebook Page
Twitter: @SinsoftheSidhe

If any authors out there would like to be featured on Meet The Author Monday, you can find the submission form HERE.

Book Review – Celtic Curse: Banshee by D.J. Doyle

celticcursebanshee
The Celtic Curse: Banshee
D.J. Doyle
4 Stars

Gentle Readers, I know it has been some time since my last review. I have been terribly busy and I apologize for that. Let’s dive into this one shall we?

This story has love, betrayal, murder, supernatural curses, and eventually, a seeking of redemption. The beginning is great in that it gives us some background on the Banshee and why she is doing the haunting she is. I feel this was rushed quite a bit. Her becoming a banshee could almost have been a novel (or at least a novella) all on its own.

Fast forward many generations and finally the bloodline is linked strongly enough to its Irish roots in order for her to come back with enough power to enact revenge again. This begins a race against time before the Banshee takes her next victim. Again, to me this was rushed a bit. There is also some tension, and one not so mild sexual scene, that seemed gratuitous and forced. Perhaps there was more to this storyline that made the scene/tension less “WOW, Here I am”. If so, I think it was lost to the editing floor.

Overall I thought it an enjoyable read and I look forward to seeing what the author does with their next work.

Celtic Curse:Banshee on Amazon

D.J. Doyle on Facebook